Maniac, Necessary Evils #7 by Onley James

I'm pretty sure we've been waiting for Maniac for 25,000 years, ever since Onley James first teased us with Thomas and Aiden as a couple. After having finished, I can honestly say it was worth every second of the wait!

From the blurb:

Thomas Mulvaney was just a child when an error in judgment cost him everything. He vowed then that he would do anything to atone for his mistake. And he did. He never strayed from the right path. Until Aiden.

Aiden Mulvaney doesn’t exist. He’s a lie created by the father who disowned him and by Thomas Mulvaney, the only man Aiden had ever begged to love him. But that was years ago, when he’d still believed in fairytales. Before Thomas rejected him.

Thomas has spent years trying to have Aiden in his life while keeping him at arm's length, but Aiden’s done with half-measures. He’s done with Thomas the martyr. He’s just done. So, he’s kept his distance. Trouble is, now, someone is threatening to expose a secret that affects them all.

No, not that one. A secret so shameful, Thomas won’t even utter it out loud. Can he and Aiden revisit the past and keep the family name intact, or will they both be buried beneath the weight of their memories as their old feelings resurface?

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

We made it!!! After 6 wonderfully psychotic, morally gray, and deliciously steamy books it's finally time for the family patriarch to get his HEA. And get his HEA he did. He just had to go through an epic blackmail scheme and endless teasing from his beloved family to get there. Oh, and to finally forgive himself after years of self-torture and denial of the thing he wanted most in the world. Aiden.

"𝑾𝒉𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒉𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒐𝒖𝒄𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑨𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒏 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒅? 𝑯𝒆 𝒌𝒏𝒆𝒘 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒔𝒘𝒆𝒓. 𝑯𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝑨𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒏 𝒅𝒊𝒅, 𝒕𝒐𝒐. 𝑩𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 𝒉𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒅 𝑨𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒏 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕. 𝑯𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒅 𝑨𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒏 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔."

When truths came to light about why Thomas had denied himself and Aiden all these years my heart utterly broke for them. All that time wasted and lost. All that time causing Aiden the same misery Thomas caused himself. It was a perpetual cycle of longing and fighting, then running away until one of them couldn't take it anymore and the cycle began again. It was toxic and heartbreaking and all because of some fucked up preconceived notion that Thomas was the monster his sons fought so hard against. The only really monstrous thing Thomas ever did was break Aiden's heart, while simultaneously never letting him move on.

"𝑰 𝒉𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆𝒔...𝑺𝒐 𝒎𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝑰 𝒇𝒆𝒆𝒍 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝑰'𝒎 𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒕."

I loved how the family all came together for Thomas. It was almost like everything came full circle. Thomas dedicated his life to saving his sons, giving them the ability to lead fulfilled lives. To be content and settled to the best of their somewhat limited capabilities. Now it was their turn to do the same for Thomas. To help him heal and move on. To help him forgive himself so he could in turn beg Aiden to forgive him, even though Aiden swore there was nothing left to forgive. He just wanted Thomas. That was all he ever really wanted since he was just a teen. And it was a beautiful thing to see them finally get what they both dreamed of having, but thought they'd never get. A life together. A life filled with crazy psychopathic sons and their partners. Grandkids and children and the whole shebang. A life worth living. Maniac is a truly fitting end to this insane series, but an amazing series none the less.

Rating: 5 Stars

Reds Book Reads Review:

I have loved this series from start to finish and this book was just amazing. I loved that we finally got to learn more about Thomas and his background and how he got started. We have been teased with hints about him and Aiden throughout the series and I am so happy we finally got to know what happens between them. The whole book was fantastic from start to finish and I just couldn’t put it down. All of the loose ends were tied up and it was the perfect end to the series. 

I absolutely loved Maniac and I can’t wait for the next series featuring Jericho’s boys! 

Rating: 5 Stars

SNik's Review:

Seventh in series (Necessary Evils), best of read in order. Hurt/comfort. Age gap. Dual POV. 

Thomas’s life is built upon secrets and more secrets, but the one secret he has been keeping from his family, the one that has kept him from pursuing a romantic relationship with his adopted son Aiden, is about to come out and make Thomas’s life forfeit. Aiden has been pushed away by Thomas for years, he’ll probably only escape when he is dead, but this time when Thomas needs him it brings about the chance for them to finally be together. 

Thomas and Aiden’s storyline has been well anticipated by readers of the Necessary Evils series, but honestly I was not on the bandwagon, I was unsure whether the age gap relationship with a former adopted member of the family could become something romantic - Onley James proved me wrong in the best way. 

This story worked for me, from the longtime secret that shows Thomas’s background, to the emotional punishment Thomas forced upon himself, to the constant dedication of Aiden and the rest of the Mulvaney clan, to the real love that survived the constant push and pull of Aiden and Thomas over the years. 

The unwavering acceptance of the Mulvaney family, Aiden’s commitment to his feelings and Thomas, the fun family interactions, the super spicy times between Aiden and Thomas, all made this book a very entertaining read and a fantastic end to the series. 

Sad to see this family move on, but can’t wait for more from the extended family that the author has hinted is coming.

Rating: 5 Stars

Zakiyya's Review:

𝙏𝙝𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝘼𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙣 …🥰🥰

𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙣𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙚𝙖𝙘𝙝 𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙘𝙧𝙮𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙡 𝙘𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙧 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙞𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙠 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙞𝙩, 𝙞𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙨.

𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧 𝙟𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙣𝙚𝙮 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙧𝙞𝙙𝙙𝙡𝙚𝙙 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙪𝙜𝙜𝙡𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙖𝙞𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙪𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙬𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙖𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙩.

𝙄 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙖 𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙩𝙡𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙧𝙣𝙚𝙙 𝙜𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙨, 𝙩𝙤 𝙢𝙚, 𝙢𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙬𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙨𝙚𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙙 𝙖 𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙮 𝙗𝙞𝙩 𝙨𝙞𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙖𝙧 𝙩𝙤 𝙚𝙖𝙘𝙝 𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙞𝙣 𝙣𝙖𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙚.

𝙈𝙖𝙣, 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙄 𝙩𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙮 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙝 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙞𝙩.... 😍😍

𝙀𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙘𝙖𝙢𝙚 𝙩𝙤𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙨𝙤 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙛𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙡𝙮 – 𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙪𝙣𝙖𝙣𝙨𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙙 𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 – 𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 “𝙬𝙝𝙮 𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙣’𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙩𝙤𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙮𝙚𝙩?”

𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙮 𝙗𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙗𝙧𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙩 - 𝙄 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙙 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙗𝙞𝙩 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙬𝙞𝙨𝙝𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙞𝙩.

𝙄 ‘𝙢 𝙨𝙤 𝙜𝙡𝙖𝙙 𝙏𝙝𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝘼𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙣 𝙜𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙪𝙨 𝙖𝙣 𝙤𝙪𝙩𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡𝙚 …💙🥰💙

Rating: 5 Stars

Reedkaye's Review:

What a spectacular end to a series. I really hated to have this series end until Onley made it known that these guys would be doing at least cameos in other series. This has been a wild ride the whole way. In every book, the author took what should be a villain and made him a person worth sympathy and love. Maniac is the icing on the cake. It brings all the characters back together and gave me a great story about two of the characters that I couldn’t figure how the author could put them together.

Thomas, up until now, has been somewhat a mystery. His background really gets told here. He had an awful childhood and yet remained a kind and generous person. He had every opportunity to become the complete opposite, but rather adopted boys and made his own family. The one son who remained a mystery until now was Aiden. He didn’t fit into the son personality type. He was originally Thomas’s friend’s unwanted son. When Thomas was faced with the choice of taking Aiden in, he did. Thomas was attracted to Aiden even as a teen but he felt for Aiden to have a good life, Thomas had to do nothing on the attraction between them. Over the years, this caused many problems between them.  

When Thomas gets a blackmail letter, he again turns to Aiden. From there, the path to solving the mystery about the blackmailer goes full circle back to Thomas’s childhood. The path Thomas and Aiden’s relationship takes gets the whole family involved.  

All the opinions and snark come out as the “brothers” and others make their opinions known. The secondary characters' appearances add to the possibilities of more to come.  

The epilogue makes it clear that there are a number of children now in the family. I have to wonder what Onley will do with them.

Maniac is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.